What’s in the (Intel Atom) brand?

Atom is the brand name chosen by Intel for its family of chips for MIDs (mobile Internet devices). Neat and clear, and suitably suggestive of things-and-devices-small?


Well, the picture is clouded slightly by the fact that the branded chip will also feature in simple “Internet-centric computers arriving later this year,” according to Intel. It is goodbye Silverthorne and Diamondville, and hello Atom.

But that’s not all. Intel also promises a Centrino Atom processor brand for “pocketable devices,” to use Intel’s term, replacing the previously codenamed Menlow platform…

I guess the distinctions between various Net-capable mobile devices are becoming increasingly blurred and the Atom brand reflects this… somewhere after low-power ultra-light laptops, potentially “pocketable” and also accommodating general “affordable Internet-centric computers”. The old days of desktops and laptops was much clearer…

(Speaking of the old days – it reminds me of a ‘portable’ Allen-Bradley PLC that was so heavy its operating instructions advised against carrying it via its handle. A classic of its kind…)

Anyway back to Atom. Manufactured on a 45nm process, with hi-k metal gate technology, Intel states the chips have a thermal design power (TDP) specification in the 0.6-2.5 watt range, which compares with a TDP in the 35-watt range for current mobile Core 2 Duo processors. In terms of clock speeds, the new chips will run at up to 1.8GHz.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *